When it comes to boudoir, bridals, or maternity, or any kind of indoor photos, location is EVERYTHING, particularly for my light, airy, & romantic style of photography. You need a specific kind of space that has tons of natural light, a large open space, white/neutral walls, and light or neutral colored floors. That is how I can create bright images where your skin glows and where you can’t see blemishes or wrinkles and therefore don’t need photoshop. So, a good studio is a must, but very few venues have this kind of space.
I almost always use the Oak Atelier, in Conroe Texas. It is a studio that you can rent for as little as $60 an hour. Each room has furniture such as chairs, mirrors, or couches, and some pieces are interchangeable between rooms.
They have 3 different room options: The Oak, The Elm, and the Willow. There’s a fourth room called the Adler but it’s too small and too warm-toned for my particular style.
The Oak is the largest and has white brick walls, ornate wooden doors, grey concrete floors, and a sky light. It also has an alcove with 3 large bay windows. Due to the foliage surrounding the building it gets the best light in the late fall and winter, but in the spring and summer it’s a little too dark. I like to schedule sessions in the Oak in the early afternoon.
The Elm is two rooms. The first has a huge wall of tall windows with white sheer white curtains, and a wall with a flower painting. It’s attached to a bathroom with tons of natural light, beautiful, white doors, a white clawfoot tug and a white vanity with a mirror. Like the Oak it also has grey stone concrete floors. I think the Elm room is great for boudoir. If you choose this room, you’ll need to schedule your session after 1pm, when the sun is on the other side of the building. There’s a small light blue couch that can be moved in or out, and a tan chair. You can also use the claw foot tub for milk baths.
The Willow is the large glasshouse and it is one of the most beautiful places in Houston. The floors are white marble and it is completely surrounded with antique glass windows. It is basically one giant soft box of light which makes your skin look amazing. I only like to schedule sessions in the Willow right before sunset, about an hour or two before. It’s not insulated, so I don’t recommend sessions there in the summer. It’s just too hot, though they do have a giant fan that helps cool the space down a little. The Willow does have some furniture, including a mirror, but you can move one of the smaller tufted benches out there if no one is using them in one of the other rooms. The outside of the building is also a pretty place for portraits, with a stone path leading up to the building.
The last room is the lobby, which is open to anyone who rents a space, but it is first come first serve, so if others are in there you have to share the space. It also has a huge mirror, but the mirror can be moved to the Oak room. There is a bathroom to change in.
The outside of the main building is also a good backdrop.
Furniture + Add Ons
Other furniture pieces are a rose-colored chair:
A grey tufted chair:
A grey tufted bench:
A nude bench:
And the blue couch:
They also have an antique wrought iron twin-sized bed, a whitewashed queen-sized bed, and a white iron daybed (for the Willow only) that you can rent for $20. Here are pictures: https://theoakatelier.com/addons/
It’s $60 per hour to rent the Elm or Oak, or $75 to rent the Willow, $135 to rent the greenhouse PLUS another room, or $150 to rent the whole space. But for a one-hour session one room is fine, though two is ideal. A milk bath typically takes at least 30 minutes to set up, shoot, and clean up, so if that’s something you’d like to add you will need a 1.5 hour session. If it’s in your budget I think the best choice is to rent the Elm and the Willow.
Just a reminder, we only schedule bridals, boudoir, and maternity sessions only on weekdays, because our weekends are dedicated to photographing weddings. The Oak Atelier typically books a few weeks in advance so email Amy as soon as you’re ready to schedule! Here is a link to their website: https://theoakatelier.com/
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